Thursday, September 27, 2012

Infinity Scarf with Knot

          My Junior year of college I studied abroad in Ireland, and the experience has stuck with me ever since. Even now, three years later, I find myself daydreaming about the little trips we would take around Europe on a shoestring budget. My Galway Girls know that to start talking would mean pages upon pages of memories from our six months of traveling, mishaps, culture shock, and European fashion. I won’t bore everyone! Anywho, my friends and I would frequently bring only a couple outfits wherever we went because we couldn’t afford to check our bags. With this, came some ingenious accessorizing. My favorite: scarves. Every city we went to we could find scarves to dress up a T-shirt and jeans. AND they were always dirt cheap – particularly in Italy where they had scarves literally lining the streets in the markets. Back in the USA scarves were also a hot fashion item, but not quite as cheap as in Europe.
          This year I see scarves popping up again and now that I have a sewing machine, I have been desperate to try to make my own. Infinity scarves are the newest trend. After looking at a few different tutorials, I came up with my own! Let me know what you think and if you guys have any suggestions!

Infinity Scarf with Knot

What you will need:
  • 1 ½ yards of fabric (you’ll only need half)
  • The Usual Suspects: sewing machine, thread, scissors

Step 1: Cut 1 ½ yard of fabric in half the long way (the hotdog way, not the hamburger way haha). You will only need one half.

Step 2: Cut the half of fabric you will use in half again the long way – you’ll have two long strips of fabric.

Step 3: Fold each strip of fabric in half (the long way) with right sides facing each other. Sew ¼ inch seam down length of each folded piece of fabric to make two long tubes.

Step 4: Turn tubes inside out.

Step 5: The knot. You can do as many loops as you want. This fabric was being fussy, so I just stuck to one looping. This is easiest to explain with pictures:

Step 6: Sew associated ends together by putting ends of tubes from opposite ends together. To start sewing, take two ends and put the right sides of the fabric together. Sew seam around circle (to close the tube), leaving approximately one inch open. You will have to stitch this opening closed from the outside but you’ll have a mostly discrete seam. If this part is confusing, please ask me questions, I’m having trouble describing this step! Maybe the pictures will help.

Step 7: Once you’ve completed sewing the tubes together, you’re done! Just fluff and wear J

Model status pshh. Note the bikes on my deck. lol


Thanks for stopping by! Anybody else making scarves lately?? Let me know! :D

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Door Jammers

          It is currently Baby Season in the family! It seems like every time I log onto Facebook another cousin or family member is pregnant or giving birth… it’s so exciting! I'm still out of work due to my back injury, so I'm trying to stay busy with crafting and cooking, etc... anything to keep myself from getting into a slump. So the other day I went to a handful of stores looking at baby gifts to get inspired.  I found a few ideas, but the most clever gift idea I found was a door jammer (which of course I forget to take a picture of). It’s a piece of fabric that slips over the door handles and covers the door latch, preventing door slamming and clicking when babies are sleeping! Brilliant! 
So, I did a little examining… and I think I can replicate this genius thing on a dime.

It took me a few makes to get the door jammers just right, but here is the final tutorial:

Door Jammers:

What you will need:

  • Cotton batting
  • 2 hair elastics
  • Fabric - You can absolutely dig in your scrap pile for this project!
  • Index card for template
  • The usual suspects: Iron, sewing machine, thread, scissors

Step 1:  Cut out your fabric. Use the Index card as a template and cut out two pieces of fabric the size of the index card with a half inch to one inch border (doesn’t have to be exact, it’s just to create a nice finished edge).

Step 2: Fold and iron edges of each rectangle of fabric around index card, finishing the edges. I won't lie, this fold took me about an hour to figure out, after I realized that a simple square fold didn't look too fantastic haha.

Step 3: Cut out a piece of batting the size of your index card. Place this piece of batting in one of the pieces of fabric, tucking it under the folds.

Step 4: Sew folds down on each piece of fabric by sewing around edge of fabric piece, leaving approximately 1/4 inch seam. (see picture above)

Step 5: With one fabric right side down, place two hair elastics on each end. Cover with second piece of fabric in a “sandwich”. Iron.

Step Six: Sew around edge of “sandwich”. This will hold the elastics in place and hold both sides together. Done!!

I hope the new moms in the family will enjoy these!

Happy Crafting :) Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Plush Fabric Pumpkins

          Fall is in the air! This is my FAVORITE season. From pumpkins to apple picking, farm stands to Halloween. I love it all. Perfect New England weather happens between September and November, not to mention the foliage! Anywho, for the first time I have an opportunity to do a little seasonal decorating. Usually my fall decorating consists of pumpkin flavored coffee and Sam Adam’s Octoberfest. But, last week I hurt my back at work and Occupational Health has deemed me unable to work until I complete some physical therapy. This means I have a LOT of time on my hands right now. Of course, I should be cleaning my apartment and doing all of those things that get pushed to the bottom of the “things to do” list every week, but instead, I’m crafting J… and decorating.
          I found an awesome tutorial on how to make plush fabric pumpkins. Very simple, very cute, and very inexpensive… just how I like it. This site has a template for the wedges to cut out of your fabric, which were a huge help, though the size of the big pumpkin wasn’t as big as I was hoping. Solution: I added a border to the biggest template for a bigger pumpkin. I tried using burlap for one of the pumpkins, which turned out great but was a little challenging to work with. Cotton fabric is definitely the way to go.  These pumpkins are super cute – squashed and plump and perfect!

Plush Fabric Pumpkins:

You will need:
  • half yard of fabric
  • template (see link above)
  • twine
  • large bore needle
  • polyfil or other filler
  • usual suspects: sewing machine, thread, scissors

 Start by cutting out your wedges using the template 

You'll need six wedges

Sew two wedges together, with right sides facing together

Sew a third wedge on, also with right side facing in.

One half complete! Now sew another, separate half with the remaining three wedges

Sew the two halves together just as you sewed the other pieces together, but included the bottom in your stitch. I left the top open to turn the shell right side out and stuff it.

Flip right side out

Stuff with polyfil or whatever you feel like- scraps would work good here too!
Then, with large-bore needle, string twine through the middle of the pumpkin and tie a knot on the end ( so it won't slip through). Loop the twine around the outside of the pumpkin, up the wedges and back down the center of the pumpkin. Repeat around the pumpkin. 
The tutorial link added some leaves and cinnamon sticks for stems - they're on my grocery list.  So cute!

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Envelope Pillow Covers

          True confession: I’m obsessed with pillows. Truer confession: I hate buying them. They are unreasonably expensive. So, I settled for a menagerie of discount pillow finds that I change the covers on whenever I feel like it! Presto – new pillows! The easiest and cheapest way to change up a room – especially with this tutorial!
          Frequently, I find pillows on the clearance rack because they’re “out of season”, and most of the time you can take the covers off of them, leaving you with a pillow form that is much cheaper than buying one at a craft store. 
          I've started to get sick of my summer pillows lately, especially now that fall is starting to creep in. So today I replaced a few of my envelope pillow covers with new ones in a cute fall fabric! An envelope pillow cover is essentially a pillow wrap. With only one piece of fabric and four straight lines to sew, it doesn’t get easier. Plus, it’s incredibly simple to remove and wash!

Envelope Pillow Cover

You will need:
              Pillow form
              Enough fabric to wrap around pillow  - approximately half yard for 18x18in pillow form
              The usual suspects: thread, pins, sewing machine         
Step 1: Wrap fabric around pillow form to ensure fit. (here, I just used my old pillow cover as a template)

Step 2: Finish long ends of fabric by folding in and sewing approximately ½ inch

Step 3: With inside out, fold cover so that ends overlap. Make sure to keep pillow size in mind (i.e. don’t overfold, because the pillow won’t fit inside later! Try putting pillow inside and pinning ends together to ensure good fit, then slide out pillow.).

 Step 4: Pin and sew open ends closed.

Step 5: Turn pillow cover right side out!

Just tuck pillow inside!

Note: You can always overlap the fabric more than I did - the preference is all yours. And remember, you can cover any pillow with this cover, it doesn't have to be a pillow form; just check to make sure that your underlying pillow pattern doesn't show through.

Total expense: 1/2 yard of fabric! BAM!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hemming Pants

So this might be an underwhelming topic, but I can’t hide my excitement. While project hunting last week at a local thrift store, I found an amazing pair of designer jeans; Seven for All Mankind bootcut jeans in my size!! What would normally run for around $250 a pair cost me $25.00. I tried them on and they fit perfectly – including my, err, assets. BAM! Only one problem… they are about six inches too long. From the knees down I look like a five year old trying on my mom’s clothes. Fail.

Or maybe not.

When I was about ten years old my Grandma started to teach me how to sew. I wasn’t the best student, and I wasn’t enthusiastically interested. But one thing she taught me stuck – how to hem pants. Who’da thunk.
My Grandma grew up in the Great Depression and learned how to sew at an early age out of necessity. She was a mill worker at Healthtex during my father’s childhood, making children’s socks and other clothing. She worked at the center of two production lines where they meet in an X because she could sew so fast – doubling her production time from everyone else around her. She was amazing! She married my grandfather, a civil engineer for the Army, at a young age and had seven (SEVEN!) kids. Needless to say, money was not an object of abundance. She made all of my aunts’ and uncles’ clothing and seconds for dinner were only for those who could eat the fastest, but love embraced everything my Grandmother did (and does!).
In honor of her, I will share this simple, but essential tip for saving pants (especially designer pants) from getting tossed aside just because us short people are just that – short. And for that matter, keeping us short people from being depraved of designer clothes. Amen.

How to Hem a Pair of Pants

You will need:
Denim needle for sewing maching (if hemming jeans)

        1.  Put on the pants ( for the sake of this post, I’ll say jeans). Fold up the jeans to the length that you want the hem to sit.

             2.    Pin the fold.
    3.  Take the pants off and make sure that both legs are even.
    4. Cut above fold approximately a half inch to leave room for the hem fold.


              5. Turn pants inside out and begin folding and pinning. Create two folds to ensure that the frayed edge will be tucked in. Pin down. If you are having trouble with the folding, try ironing down the original hem fold, then tucking the top under later to pin.

        6.  Sew along highest edge of hem.

         7. When working with the second leg, after pinning, lay next to first finished leg to ensure even hemlines.

                      Yay! Pants that fit!

      Tip: If you want that distressed look at the bottom of you pants so that they match the original bottoms, take some sandpaper and muss up the edges. This will make them look store bought!